CBD Tinctures: What You Need to Know & How to Make Your Own
With all the CBD products on the market, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Tinctures, oils, capsules, topicals: what’s the difference? Let us demystify the world of CBD, starting with tinctures. Plus, we’ll give you a simple recipe for making your own CBD tincture at home.
Understanding CBD tinctures.
CBD can be taken in many ways, from smoking a high-CBD strain to ingesting CBD capsules or edibles. The plethora of options can be overwhelming, even for seasoned aficionados. Here we’ll focus on CBD tinctures: what are they, what are their benefits, and how can you make a CBD tincture at home? Here’s everything you need to know.
What Are CBD Tinctures?
Tinctures are highly concentrated herbal extractions. They come in liquid form and are typically administered a few drops at a time. Cannabidiol (CBD) tinctures are created by steeping CBD-rich hemp flowers in high-proof grain alcohol. Vinegar or glycerine can be used in lieu of alcohol, but alcohol really does produce the best tincture in the end. The process is time-consuming, but very simple.
CBD tincture should be potent, with a very high CBD content, and contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is different from cannabis tincture, which contains THC and other cannabinoids. Since CBD is not psychotropic, CBD tincture won’t get you high. However, it has plenty of other benefits.
Is CBD Tincture the Same as CBD oil?
CBD tincture and CBD oil share a lot common:
- Both are liquid concentrates of CBD and have similar properties and effects once ingested.
- You can often find both of these products packaged in small bottles.
In some cases, manufacturers will even label CBD oils as “CBD oil tincture”, causing understandable confusion when you’re trying to sort through the different products on the market. However, there are some key differences between CBD oil and true CBD tincture:
- Tinctures are made with raw hemp material infused into a base of alcohol.
- CBD oils are made by infusing CBD isolate into a carrier oil, such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, or MCT oil.
Their alcohol base gives CBD tinctures a few advantages:
- Tinctures have a longer shelf-life than oil-based products.
- Because they are water soluble, CBD tinctures are easy to add to food and drink.
- Tinctures have higher bioavailability. That means the CBD in tinctures is more readily absorbed by the body.
If DIY is your thing, CBD tinctures are also very easy to make at home.
CBD Oil 10%
|CBD Oil 10%|
|CBD per drop: 5 Mg|
|Carrier: Olive Oil|
Homemade vs Store-Bought CBD Tinctures
So, how exactly do you make a CBD tincture at home? And how are homemade tinctures different from what you would buy commercially?
Commercial CBD Tinctures
Commercial CBD tinctures are usually made using either an alcohol or CO₂ extraction method. The latter creates a highly purified CBD isolate that is then infused into a carrier base, often an oil.
As a result, many commercial CBD products labelled as “tinctures” are actually oils. While these oil-based products don’t meet the technical definition of tincture, the term gets used to market any highly concentrated CBD extraction that comes in a dropper bottle and can be taken sublingually. It also distinguishes oil-based “tinctures” from other CBD oil products that are meant to be used differently.
Quality commercial CBD tinctures offer convenience and high levels of purity. Oil-based tinctures that use a CO₂ extraction method are often extremely potent.
Homemade CBD Tinctures
Homemade CBD tinctures are made by soaking hemp or cannabis plant material in alcohol. The alcohol may or may not be heated to encourage extraction. Vinegar or vegetable glycerine can be used instead of alcohol. However, alcohol will give a more potent result.
Homemade tinctures are not as pure as commercial tinctures, which use industrial methods to remove impurities during the extraction process. However, homemade CBD tinctures are less expensive and afford more control over ingredients. Making a homemade tincture allows you to choose your preferred strain of cannabis. It also lets you adjust the potency as desired.
How to Make a Homemade CBD Tincture
A few simple ingredients and some patience are all you need to make a CBD tincture at home. Here’s an easy recipe to get you started.
Ingredients and Hardware
- Mason jar
- High-proof grain alcohol (at least 60–70%)
- Tinted dropper bottle
- High-CBD cannabis flower or concentrate
- If you’re using cannabis flower, start by decarboxylating your weed. But, be judicious when choosing a strain. If you use a strain of cannabis that contains high levels of THC, your end product will be psychotropic. For a pure CBD tincture that won’t get you high, stick with a strain that has little-to-no THC in it.
- Mix your decarboxylated flower or concentrate with the alcohol in a mason jar. The higher the proof, the better the alcohol will extract the CBD. You should use about one 750ml jar of alcohol for every ounce (28g) of cannabis.
- Seal the jar and let the mixture sit for a few weeks, preferably in a dark place. Exposure to light can break down the active compounds. This will decrease the tincture’s potency.
- Shake the jar once per day.
- Strain your mixture and store it in a tinted dropper bottle.
- To save time, you can simmer the cannabis and alcohol mixture over low heat for a few hours. If you want a more potent result, you can decrease the ratio of alcohol to cannabis. Just be careful if you decide to apply heat. Remember, you’re working with flammable ingredients.
How to Use CBD Tinctures
CBD tinctures are highly concentrated, so a typical dose consists of just a few drops. Many users find that tinctures are ideal for microdosing CBD. If you want a stronger effect, simply add more drops.
Tinctures tend to be bitter. You can mask their bitterness by adding them to food and drink. Try adding a few drops of your CBD tincture to soup, salad dressing, coffee, or tea.
If the bitterness doesn’t bother you, you can take your tincture sublingually (under the tongue). Research suggests that substances taken sublingually are absorbed by the body faster  than other oral methods.
When dosing a CBD tincture, hold it under your tongue for at least a minute. This will allow it to enter your bloodstream. You should start to feel the effects in around 15 minutes.
Can You Use Oral CBD Oil or Tincture Topically?
CBD tinctures are meant to be taken orally, but some people use them topically. While there’s nothing really wrong with this practice, it’s not the most effective use of your product. Topical CBD products usually contain other ingredients that are beneficial for your skin. They are also formulated for absorption through the skin. If you need a topical, it’s best to search for an oil, gel, or cream that’s designed for this type of application.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Tinctures?
When using CBD tinctures, many people report relaxing or rejuvenating effects. Tinctures offer all the benefits of CBD in a discreet, easy-to-consume format. They don’t need to be smoked or vaporized, and they can be easily added to food or administered under the tongue. The dropper bottles themselves are very small, making them easy to conceal in a purse or pocket. Because tinctures are taken a few drops at a time, it is easy to adjust your dose with precision.
Is CBD Tincture Legal?
Since CBD is non-psychotropic and won’t get you high, it is legal in most places. Of course, it’s always best to check your local laws. Generally, if your CBD tincture is made with hemp (which contains little-to-no THC), you shouldn’t have a problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is not addictive, and is generally safe and well-tolerated.
Should You Try CBD Tincture?
If you want to experiment with CBD, consider trying a tincture. It’s a great option if you don’t want to smoke or vape your CBD. Discreet and easy to dose, tinctures are perfect for novice users and CBD connoisseurs alike. Find a good CBD tincture commercially, or make your own at home.
These concentrated CBD drops are discreet, easy to use, and easy to make. Learn the benefits of CBD tinctures, how they compare to CBD oil, and more.
How to Make CBD Tincture: Which Extraction Method is Best?
There are a variety of CBD products that are rapidly gaining popularity, and tinctures are among them. While many customers may know what they want in a CBD tincture, they may not know to make CBD tincture – let alone how they are extracted. In this article, we will discuss two extraction methods used to make CBD distillate and isolate tinctures to determine which is best for making these popular products.
How To Make CBD Tincture With Ethanol or CO2
In the CBD market, tinctures have become the tried and true staple product for producers and consumers. The sublingual use of tinctures has the second fastest bioavailability (absorption of CBD) in the body compared to inhalation of smoke or vapor. However, many turn to tinctures to mitigate the potential risks of inhaled CBD products, making it a safe, effective option for everyone interested in CBD use.
That being said, producers have needed to adapt to the market of CBD products – including tinctures – in order to maintain profitability and quality reputation. One major factor when considering how to make CBD tincture is the extraction method by which they create their products – among the major methods being ethanol and CO2 extraction. The fact of the matter is that these extraction methods vary in their efficiency to create quality tinctures.
CBD Distillate and Isolate Product Formulation:
When considering the best extraction method for how to make CBD tinctures, it is important to define the specific product formulation you intend to create first. Here are some questions that will help you to define your product:
- Is your product going to be THC non-detect? If so, you will need to use CBD isolate for this product.
- Is your product going to be full-spectrum, meaning it will include THC? You will be using CBD distillate for this product.
- Is your product going to be broad spectrum meaning it will exclude THC? You will be using CBD broad spectrum for this.
- Do you have a desired flavor profile? Hopefully you will be using natural terpenes rather than synthetic terpenes.
- What are your taste and texture goals for the CBD tincture? Hopefully you will have a great tasting tincture that has desirable texture free from solids from you hemp or cannabis biomass.
How to Make CBD Tincture With Ethanol Extraction:
When considering how to make CBD tincture with ethanol, removal of the ethanol is a process that requires a significant amount of heat over a long period of time. This heat exposure will degrade the terpenes significantly. Many of the terpenes during this process are co-distilled or are destroyed in the process. The oil from this process is typically dark black and does not taste very good. The aroma profile is also not very desirable due to the breakdown of the terpene profile. The use of a crude extract for the tincture it’s not desirable because it doesn’t taste very good, doesn’t smell very good, and it also may contain too much THC.
Once the ethanol has been removed from the ethanol extract, the oil typically is introduced to a distillation process which removes the remaining terpenes. If your intent is to use distillate for your tincture, then you will have to find a way to add some terpenes to that tincture. The only resort is to purchase synthetic terpenes. you will also need to figure out how to reduce the amount of THC.
One other thing that needs to be considered is that if you do not distill the ethanol extract, it is very likely that you will have a significant amount of chemical contaminants in your extract. This is especially true if you are using denatured ethanol for your extraction process.
Process of distillation does not necessarily remove all of the denaturants from the extract. It may remove the vast majority of the solvent contaminant but there are always trace residuals remaining in the distillate.
It is always desirable to start with organic hemp biomass so there is little risk of those contaminants making their way into the tincture
How to Make CBD Tincture With CO2 Extraction:
If you use a supercritical CO2 process, you will have the option to start by harvesting the terpenes before CO2 extraction. This preserves many of the low boiling-point terpenes that are unique and significant to the strain hemp or cannabis that you are extracting.
You may also use a subcritical CO2 extraction in order to produce soupy mixtures of terpenes, cannabinoids and waxes. These “terpy” mixtures are typically very desirable for vapor pens but are not very desirable for the purpose of formulation. Because they have cannabinoids and waxes in them, using them as a way to introduce terpenes to a formulation is much more difficult to do and reproduce in practice.
The CO2 extraction also avoids the issues related to chemical contaminants that come from the use of denatured ethanol.
CO2 extraction is much less expensive to produce a kilogram of oil compared to ethanol extraction. For example, CO2 is 4 cents a pound compared to ethanol which is greater than $4 per pound. Solvent losses with ethanol extraction are a key cost contributor and drive a major increase in operating cost compared to CO2 extraction.
In summary, both CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction can produce desirable tinctures. However, CO2 extraction has an edge over ethanol extraction due to preservation of the terpene profiles and the avoidance of risk related to chemical contaminants. Finally, CO2 extraction is much less expensive than ethanol extraction. For those reasons CO2 is a better extraction method.
Find the Best CBD Distillate and Isolate Tinctures on the Market
When it comes to finding quality CBD products today, it can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. It can be hard to find third party test results, certificates of analysis, or any evidence of what extraction method was used to create a CBD distillate derived tincture. Luckily, there are clean, tranparent CBD companies like Holus dedicated to providing the highest quality tinctures, topicals and edibles in the CBD industry.
What is the best extraction method for how to make CBD tincture? In this article, we discuss two popular methods to see which is best.